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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

PLANET EARTH (article first published : 2007-01-1)

Planet Earth, the BBC Natural History Unit’s most ambitious natural history series and one of BBC Worldwide’s most successful international titles, is in South Africa on television, DVD and book.

Five years in production, over 2000 days in the field, using 40 cameramen filming across 200 locations, Planet Earth is described as the ultimate portrait of our planet. From the highest mountains to the deepest rivers, this blockbuster series takes audiences on an unforgettable journey through the challenging seasons and the daily struggle for survival in Earth’s most extreme habitats. Sold by BBC Worldwide to more than 35 territories internationally, Planet Earth has broken television viewing records and met with universal acclaim the world over.

During December, SABC3 screened the complete Planet Earth, reintroducing viewers to the first five programmes in the ground-breaking series. It now goes on to premiere the concluding six episodes, each of which continues the epic story of life on Earth.

As part of the cross-platform launch of the series, Nu Metro has released the DVD of Planet Earth. Complete with all 11 episodes and a range of bonus material – including the documentary The Future of Planet Earth, and behind the scenes film diaries which show the making of each of the 11 episodes – the five-disc DVD is available in leading retailers throughout South Africa.

Random House South Africa will also publish a hardback book to accompany the BBC series. Available in bookshops throughout South Africa, the lavish Planet Earth includes a foreword by Sir David Attenborough, stories and recollections from the programme’s production team, and breathtaking photography.

Monisha Shah, BBC Worldwide’s Director of Emerging Territories, said: “Planet Earth is a great example of what the BBC does best – landmark television which sets a new benchmark in natural history programming and which translates powerfully across a range of platforms. I’m sure South African audiences, like millions of others around the world, will embrace Alastair Fothergill’s extraordinary series.”

Planet Earth is a BBC / Discovery Channel / NHK co-production in association with the CBC. The series producer is Alastair Fothergill. Recommended retail price R399.95 for the five discs which are available at all leading retail outlets.




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